The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Youth Camp 2008

And We Made It...

Every summer we end with our Youth Camp. Notorious for mega free time, wonderful food, lots of skin, and a banquet that is quite the to-do. This year was no exception...and the boys are ending the summer on a great note!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Approved Approved We're Fabulously Approved!

Yessssss...the biggest of a few big milestones we were excited to attain is here. I didn't think I would ever be so excited by the knowledge that the Ministry Of Children and Families deems US fit parents. (Actually, until many months ago I never thought of even seeking their approval at all.)
Our Dossier is now on it's way to Imagine Adoption in Ontario and from it's brief visit there, it will then hop over to beautiful Ethiopia and stick around there for awhile to be translated, and then over to the Orphanage.

In comparison to pregnancy, I feel as though we have just heard our baby's heart beat for the first time. I can't imagine seeing her face.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Former Canuck Reaches Out Globally

We are using the same facilitator (similar to an agency) as former NHL player, Ron Stern and his family used to complete their adoption almost 1 year ago.

Because Treats Should Be Rare

I love this post written in the blog of a friend of a friend ... !

"...How much stuff do we have to own? When (insert your child's name) gets his/her free Webkinz, then I will have to get one for (insert your other child's name), right? And they have to have friends for their Webkinz. And they will have to spend hours on the computer….the floodgate opens. Am I a bad mother because I don’t let them have Webkinz? I know I’m not. But I am frustrated that the world makes me feel like I am. I feel as though I am constantly on guard about teaching my children what I believe. I believe in exercising imagination, creating an environment which stimulates curiosity and building a home where we talk and be together doing some old fashioned fun–read books, play games, art and building a fort...

On a typical day of running errands, we have to say ‘no’ about 5 times to someone wanting give my kids candies. I know they mean well and my kids are cute. I hate being the bad guy always saying ‘no’. I want to be the one to give treats to my kids. And when they get treats, I want them to be excited because treats are supposed be rare...

It would be easy if I just did things to keep peace and let my kids have everything they want or everyone else have. I believe in being the change. Living wholeheartedly what I believe and hopefully inspiring others to do the same. But if I am not teaching my next generation what is important, what good does that do?..."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Signage Papers Complete

Ben and I completed the Signage Papers last night so we are very excited!! This means no more interviews...we have been analyzed and written about. It is always interesting to hear about yourself from a third party perspective. We don't look all that scary after all. Ha ha.

This picture basically depicts how excited I am to be done.

I have been seeing this quote quite a it lately so thought I would share. It's not a new one but simply impactful:


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Proximity Equals Responsibility

This article written by friend Jason Kovacs for his ABBA Fund Blog is compelling.

Going Gold With True Talent

In all the Olympic hype, I find that one gold blends into one silver blends into one bronze...well, maybe not the 8 golds with which Phelps cleaned up...but you get the point.

What stands out in my mind though is the Girl from Ethiopia who won the First Gold Metal in all of Africa...and she took it before Canada took our first Gold. Interesting that a country which is ranked among the poorest not only with most of the world but even within it's own continent, would be the first to take home Gold. There are no million dollar tracks in Ethiopia, not many elite treadmills, and I am quite sure that Tirunesh Dibaba (the 23 year old metalist) did not wear any $300 runners while in the early stages of her training. (By the way, this training took place at any time she could, before or after school and chores. She had barefeet and the dirt roads were her track.) Her drive and determination not to be stuck in a life of poverty and destitution, were her coaches and trainers early on. Her raw talent has been refined, strengthened, and she has pushed herself in ways that many trainers push their athletes in training.

In some consumer-world way, it's sweet to know that for some athletes it is the raw talent and genetic composition...not the Nike, Saucony, Aquafina, Coke, and numberous other lucrative companys' financial endorsements or elite trainers...that really do win out. I'm not trying to minimize the need for hard training, for hours of sweat, sprints, and sports drinks. I am however, trying to capitalize on the fact that if we go back, if we go way back through ancestries and through generations of multiple familial couplings, we will see that for some of these olympians, the pre-determined make-up is how the raw talent and the specific strengths came to be.

Last night while listening to Donovan Bailey critique some runners and reflect upon his own experiences, I couldn't help but wonder; While he is a Canadian Citizen, he was born Jamaican. He obtained his citizenship after moving to Canada at the age of 11 years old. Does a person, when they fight, earn, and win gold in something as world reknown as the Olympics...does he feel Canadian pride? Does he feel Jamaican pride? Or, does he feel that he has won a metal for both of his countries? How has his heritage and his upbringing affected his feelings about cultural pride?

I'd love to know.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Family Time

Something every child should remember with happiness is family times, trips, and adventures (or "Road Trips, Baby!" as Noah would call them). While the summer is a busy time around here, we still love to head out for short adventures on Ben's weekly day off.

Here are a few shots of only a few of this summer's the Lake and Blueberry picking. I also took the boys to our local Forestry Discovery Centre and we rode the train (among other things) but Murphy's Law came into play and my battery died as we arrived. Guess we'll just have to go back again!

Ben and I also got away for a night to the Tigh-Na-Mara while my parents were visiting. We had a great, relaxing time...headed up to Coombs (my first!) and to Cathedral Grove for some impressively tall tree gazing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

One Step At A Time - Thank Yous!

There have been many many many friends who have supported us in our journey so far. There have also been many people whom we have either gotten to know or still do not really know who have helped. It's pretty incredible to hear of different stories about those who are reaching out to help us, those who are teaching their kids about lessons in selfless giving to help us, all for a little girl we don't even know - who lives half a world away.

Hopefully we'll see a copy of our Homestudy Report within the next week or so, we'll read through to ensure it is an accurate depiction of "us" and then we'll wait for official approval. I can't wait to say "we're waiting". Though I know it will be hard to have no ability to speed things up or control any situations, it will also be a bit of a relief to know we've done all that we tangibly can, up to that point.

So, as we wait at this point I feel it is important to make mention of the many who have touched us with their support. Whether prayerfully, financially, time, bake sale giving, yard sale giving (or buying) we are very very thankful to so many...young and old, it's unreal how many people have offered continual support.

Nana & Pops, Papa & Grandma, Frank & Tracy, Sue, Scott & Tammy, Linda, Chris and Dolores, Mark & Lola, Bruce & Cristina, Janet, Scott & Julie, Dan & Roxanne, James & Lydia, Art & Connie, Toban & Bryony, Tara, Chris & Kirsten, Anna, Russ & Michelle, Pauline & Gary, Ernie & Carol, Toni, Phil, Wolff Family, Dice Family, Dunford Family, Dales Family, Bertram Family, Kuntsi Family, and to the guy who bought $3 worth of baked goods from the Suprise Bake Sale but paid $30.

Thank you...words really can't express how touched we are by your kindness & generosity.